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Two Tunisia opposition leaders arrested — party

By AFP - Sep 06,2023 - Last updated at Sep 06,2023

TUNIS — Two leaders of Tunisia’s Islamist-inspired opposition party Ennahdha have been arrested, the party said on Wednesday, in the latest move against it by President Kais Saied’s government.

Ennahda was the largest party in parliament until Saied dissolved the legislature in July 2021 as part of a power grab. He has since ruled by decree in the only democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings that swept the region more than a decade ago.

Mondher Ounissi, who has served as Ennahdha’s acting chairman since the detention of veteran party leader Rached Ghannouchi in April, was arrested on Tuesday evening along with the head of the party’s consultative council, Abdelkarim Harouni, the party said.

There was no word on the arrests from the authorities.

Ennahdha accused Saied’s government of seeking to divert attention from the country’s mounting economic woes with its latest attempt to “denigrate the party and its leaders”.

Another Ennahdha leader, former prime minister Hamadi Jebali, was released by police on Tuesday after being questioned about public appointments during his time in office.

Saied’s government closed Ennahdha’s offices across Tunisia after Ghannouchi’s arrest in April.

The Ennahdha leaders are among two dozen Saied opponents arrested since February, including former ministers and business figures.

In March, the European Parliament condemned Tunisia’s “authoritarian drift” under Saied’s leadership in a non-binding resolution.


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